Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

BRIEFING NOTE: This is some epic shit!

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Published: 20th October, 2018
Series: The Illuminae Files #1
Rating: 5

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.
BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

<Begin transmission>

Notes from the Little Black Notebook (a.k.a. The Blankie Files)

⇒I’m reading this while listening to the audio. Full cast, mind you. It’s mind blowing.
⇒All these added sound effects make this experience absolutely immersive.
⇒A harrowing account of the casualties, with pages and pages of pictures and somber music playing in the background. Oh, the feels.
⇒AIDAN. Twisty little motherfucker. He’s not even a person. He’s the ship’s AI. He’s totally psychotic.

“The human brain has the computational efficiency of 10^-26. You are an abacus of horse guts and shiny beads beside me. You do not understand. Cannot comprehend. And I have no time to bend the meat inside your skull and make it grasp the simple truth that still somehow eludes you.”

⇒Everyone’s in danger. There’s barely any downtime.
Fast paced. Action packed.
Badass crew. Kady, Ezra, Zhang, Sgt. McNulty.

Psych eval; Kady.Doesn’t work well with others. Doesn’t respect authority. Regularly downplays her abilities. Annoying, but smart.

“I am frequently underestimated. I think it’s because I’m short.”

Psych eval; Ezra. Doesn’t play well with the psychologist. Hostile. Anxiety, PTSD. Also quite mature, and somewhat poetic.

Observations. Prepared by Norrie (Analyst ID 0530b1anki3)

Despite the unusual format the story is conveyed with precision. The constant sense of danger, the weight of every action and the consequences of a simple mistake are delivered in a painfully accurate manner.

“Numbers do not feel. Do not bleed or weep or hope. They do not know bravery or sacrifice. Love and allegiance. At the very apex of callousness, you will find only ones and zeros.”

Even though we only get to know the characters through their dialogue snippets, chat log, and a few surveillance notes, we are not left wondering who they are, how they feel, or what they are doing.

BRIEFING NOTE: Don’t be alarmed by the size of the book. Do not feel intimidated by its 600 pages. A lot of them are pictures, or have a few words scattered around. For real.

Read it! It’s awesome.

<Over and out>


  1. I love how you wrote your review for this one, haha! 😀 Amazing!

    AIDAN is.. psychotic indeed but seriously one of my favorite characters ever. I got the urge to reread these books yesterday but they’re packed up already, unfortunately. :’) Otherwise I would’ve given in to temptation. 😛 Hope you enjoy Obsidio and Gemina at least as much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, i hope you give it a try 😊. I didn’t really know what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised. Not sure how i would have felt without the audio, but with it… so good.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I will come back read your review once I’ll have read my copy which has just landed in my mail today (I kid you not). 😉

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Ah, then you would be wrong to think it’s different. This style has been done before. By the way, a couple of friends and I were going to do this kind of thing on a website (which we did, and then!) I might try again doing the website again. And yeah, I’m intrigued to read the series.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Ah, how cool is that!
            I remember seeing a similar book that was written this way, but i couldn’t tell you what it was called 😀 I think i’m gonna look for more like this.

            That website idea is great! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved reading your thoughts on this, Norrie, and thanks for the notes on the size of it! I would have been intimidated. Luckily I have it on Kindle so I don’t see the daunting size in three dimension. One of these days I’ll get to it! Wonderful review!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh nice format for the review 😃 I haven’t read this series yet because I don’t read sci-fi. But all the reviews have only said positive things about it so probably I would pick it up soon. And the size is definitely intimidating but now that you said thag it mostly has pictures, I am less afraid 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh I LOVE that review formatting, it looks amazing and so fitting for the book! Great job 😀
    I remember being really nervous to read this book – it’s not my usual genre and the format scared me, to be honest. In the end, I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Awesome review! I like how you did this in analyst mode haha! Which is one of my fave things about this series. I just loved all the footage and IM’s and stuff. It really upped the tension I thought? And AIDAN- I did NOT like him, which I think puts me in the minority? Although he did grow on me.Oh and I thought Gemina was even better, so hopefully you’ll like that one too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, AIDAN is a well written asshole, basically 😀 I enjoy reading about the “bad guy”, or in this case “bad AI” 😀 For me he was one of the best characters, but certainly not a nice one personality wise.


  7. Absolutely love how you did this review! And loved this book too! I so agree that this was mind blowing and harrowing 😀 And AIDAN was such a fantastic character!! And you’re so right about the precision here. And yeah, it may be long, but I whizzed through it too. Fantastic review!

    Liked by 1 person

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